9 in art: max moran

max moran
baiting hollow

what do you do with an artist whose paintings are so casual you can find them at your local home goods store? would it be sacrilege to call something like that, “important?”

would it be sacrilege to not?

“art has a purpose. art is a thread.” moran refers to the first man who poked at cave walls to make a connection to the future for us. “artists are trying to scratch the surface of many things, on a small surface or plane, and get the most important thing: a response. if a painting doesn’t get a response, it’s failed.” the artist believes that art gives value—to a home to an environment, to a moment. the value of the image is up to the viewer to decide. “no one gets involved in the arts without wanting to leave the human condition a little better than they found it.” and moran believes that even the understated grace of his rain paintings are no different. he makes “little vignettes, little brushes of figures. and people can immediately recognize how that feels…it’s all just a snapshot. i’m not trying to ‘tell them anything’…you have to engage with the viewer to work with you. you have to understand the way color is seen and how the eye works.”

it started with him watching people’s behavior in the rain. and how weather can change not only our posture and our way, but also how we interact. “we’re all a little more compassionate towards each other in the rain,” leapfrogging to catch a cab or huddling for warmth.

he’s working with the language of the weather and the language of people. “i don’t like being too polished with the brushwork. there’s a lot of soul in the brushwork.”

his images are scenes stolen from everyday life “to eliminate all the clutter [of the city] to get to that one exclamation mark.” and he uses the rain, in all its infiniteness, to investigate this idea. he hails from a tradition in art that makes someone think about an ordinary thing in an extraordinary way. the beauty of it is moran leaves the details open to interpretation, allowing the viewer to finish his sentences as his devil pleases. and all of a sudden, you wish it would rain.

Moran’s AN EXHIBITION OF NEW OIL PAINTINGS will be on display at Jedediah Hawkins—Barn Gallery, Jamesport, August 17th—September 8th.


nada marjanovich

nada marjanovich

Nada Marjanovich is Publisher and Editor of Long Island Pulse Magazine. Prior to founding the title in 2005, she worked extensively in the internet. She's been writing since childhood and has been published for both fiction and poetry.